You may have read here before about my ventures with Linux on the home pc, where things must work for the whole family, not just me the Linux Geek.
Back in March or so, I grew tired of Windows XP on my home desktop. I was sick of having to keep up with WGA cracks (ahem), sick of bloated crapware, and not interested whatsoever in Vista.
So, I installed RedHat Linux (Fedora Core 6 to be exact). This was highly tolerable for a couple of months since I was used to using it at work all the time, and I am well versed in RedHat operating systems. However, it caused issues for Alicia because it just wasn’t intuitive enough, and it didn’t just work. There was always some fingling needed to be done in a terminal window.
I decided a few weeks ago that I would install Ubuntu 7.4 Fiesty Fawn, and I haven’t looked back since. When I learned that Dell was shipping PC’s with Ubuntu instead of Linux, I knew it must be time. The installation was fast, and it was insanely simple to do. The Ubuntu developers have thought of everything, and it seems like they are driven to make something with mass appeal that is better than Windows. In my opinion, they have.
It just works. Plugged in my iPod, it worked. Plugged in my old NTFS data drive, it worked. Plugged in my USB card reader, it worked. All of it works. Needed a codec to watch some video clip, and Ubuntu went and found it easily, letting me start watching within seconds.
The final test of Ubuntu’s readiness for the masses was how well my wife handled it. So far, the only complaint is that she cannot listen to music she bought from iTunes (until I work around that). So all in all, Ubuntu passes with flying colors.
Is Ubuntu really that stable and easy to use?
I’ve downloaded it for my laptop (a second household computer that I primarily use for web browsing, email and photo sharing – you know things to keep me occupied when the kids have control of the TV), but haven’t yet grown the cajones to install it.
I have a vague knowledge of LINUX (in college I used a LINUX machine and numerous UNIX machines for a while, but never with administrative rights or needs).
It has become quite easy to use. There are a few fundamentals you have to unlearn about Windows, and a few things to consider that are fundamentally different about Linux in general. But, that’s part of the fun of it.
You know you can set up dual booting on your laptop if you wanted, so that if you needed to boot into Windows for something, you could. The Ubuntu installation disk should give you that option.